1) The team is at the top in this competition.
2) The team are full of high spirits.

There are certain nouns which take singular verbs when referred as a group or body. A team is probably never divided therefore it is a team. So, in the second sentence are we trying to point out each member of the team and using plural verb?

Also, since each member of the team is of high spirit then collectively its a group/team, so should it not take singular helping verb. Suggestions please.


2 Answers 2


Both are possible. Said that, it depends on the context.

Collective nouns are tricky in that way. The example of 'team' is good one to ponder upon.

Say, you are considering the team as one entity. You then use a singular verb 'is'.

The team is at the top of ....

But then, if you want to treat each team member separately but still want to use the collective noun, it takes 'are'. Say -

The team are arguing among themselves.

Similarly, India have won the match is also correct.


In the US and Canada, one always uses ''is'' (or another singular verb) here. In Britain, and I believe the rest of the English-speaking world, ''are'' (or another plural verb) is sometimes used informally if the uncountable noun is a mass composed of a bunch of individuals. However, even internationally, in formal language, the singular verb is preferred.

America or formal: The team is full of high spirits.

Britain, informal: The team are full of high spirits.

If the uncountable noun is not a mass composed of a bunch of individuals, the singular verb is always used, even in Britain:

The water is flowing quickly.

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